Dear White People

Alex Thompson , Managing Editor

The film “Dear White People” was finally released in theaters last Friday and has gained a lot of public attention due to it’s success at Sundance. Set in a fictional, predominantly white Ivy League college, the film is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek satire about racial politics in a so-called post-racial America. It follows four black students at this university as they try to cope with being in a place where they are so vastly outnumbered by their white peers.

The film has sparked a lot of controversy, with a lot of people claiming it is racist against white people. As Sam White, one of the main characters of the movie, says, “Black people can’t be racist. Prejudiced, yes, but not racist. Racism describes a system of disadvantage based on race.”

Anyone who sees this movie and immediately cries racism is missing the point of the movie. The purpose of “Dear White People” is not to demonize or vilify white people, but rather to point out the ignorance and casual racism white people participate in, often without realizing that they are, in fact, being racist.

One of the main plot points of the movie is the main characters’ reactions when a group of white students decide to throw a black-themed party, complete with just about every racist stereotype of black people imaginable. This is a perfect example of the types of behavior this movie attempts to address, because although the events of the movie are fictional, incidents like it happen in real life all the time. Just last year, several members of a UCI fraternity were reprimanded for donning blackface in a video, according to the Huffington Post.

By addressing this problem in a satirical film of this nature, white people watching may be able to see how wrong these actions are by seeing it from the perspective of the people it affects.